NSW seeks feedback on draft Disaster Adaptation Plan guidelines

The NSW government has released draft guidelines to help councils develop proactive Disaster Adaptation Plans (DAPS), a key feature of the State Disaster Mitigation Plan launched by the state government in February.

Jihad Dib: reducing the impact of disasters

The guidelines, which propose that DAPs are shaped locally, coordinated regionally and facilitated by the state, are being developed by the NSW Reconstruction Authority.

The government says they represent a shift towards prevention, which means the focus is on reducing the risk and impact of climate related hazards, and helping communities bounce back from disasters faster.

The guidelines also recognise the role of collaboration and engagement across a wide range of sectors when developing disaster plans, including local councils, community, the insurance and banking industries and private businesses.

Better ways to address natural disasters

Emergency services minister Jihad Dib says successive years of Natural Disaster Declarations have highlighted the need for the state to work with local communities to identify better ways to address natural hazards.

“These plans will help to manage that risk by identifying opportunities to reduce the impact of disasters before they occur,” he said.

“These guidelines are an important first step towards the development of DAPs, which will help reduce the risk to human life and make communities stronger.”

Planning minister Paul Scully said historically only three per cent of disaster funding has been spent on prevention with the rest concentrated on the aftermath of an event.

“But we know that every dollar we invest in better preparing communities reduces future costs and will help make communities more resilient,” he said.

“To make that happen, we need to work collaboratively across all levels of government and closely with the community to help address these challenges and reduce our risk.”

The consultation period, which closes on August 23,  provides an opportunity for feedback on the draft guidelines before they are introduced formally in late 2024, the government says.

More information is available here.

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